Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Murphy's Law

So, I'm here in Austin spending the week at the office. Austin is a pretty cool town, has to be for the likes of Lance Armstrong and Andy Roddick to take up residence here. It's also hot, real hot, and for the first time, humid, like Baltimore sweat box humid. Even so, the riding is pretty good west of town is West Lake Hills which lives up to its name. Rolling countryside overlooking the lakes of Austin.

I've been keeping a bike down here all summer so I don't get tagged for around $100 bucks each time I come down. This typically means I have to bring a certain amount of gear with me, helmet, cycling cloth, shoes etc... It also means the little things, spare tubes, pump, energy bars. Well, this time I managed to walk out of the house with one of those little pump. Excited to roll out of the office at 5pm and get beck to the good old La Quinta where I stay while in town, I realize as I'm ready to rollout for a ride that I do not have my trusty, seldom used (as in "have I ever used it on a roadride?") pump. So, after a few minutes of debating with my conscience, I decide to head out anyway. Now, as nice as the riding is here, it's for one reason, there nothing around for miles sometimes. Despite that fact, there is still plenty of traffic, so don't get your hopes up. So from the La Quinta I take a quick right then another at the first light to put me on the closet road out of southwest Austin, Southwest Parkway. A 2 to 3 lane "highway" with a decent shoulder, 3-4 feet. Not too bad with cars whizzing by at 70+ mph, except for the trash, mostly glass, shards of metal, the occasional rusty mail or bolt and plenty of blown tire pieces.

As I'm riding along, my conscience is getting tome, playing tricks. Everytime I ride by or over something suspicious, I start thinking I have a flat. Next thing I know I'm just riding along staring at my rear wheel. So I'm about 6 miles fro mthe hotel and just split off from another cyclist who had been shadowing me for several miles when I finally decide that I want to check my rear tire. I get off my bike and immediately knew I was f'ed.

Fortunately I did bring my cell, I usually use that to call for directions home, but in this case it was to call Louis to come pick me up. It worked out for him though, he had a reson to leave work, and he lives right behind the La Quinta so it was kind of on the way. Anyway, Murphy's law bit me in the ass. As many miles as I've put in this year and the one time I consciously go out unprepared I get burned. Lesson learned.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

'Cross Season Awaits

Well, it's that time of year again, cyclocross! What a meniacal, masochistic way to spend your winter, but hey, it's fun right? As far as training, I've been spending a great deal of time on the mountain bike, single speed specifically. I'm hoping the combination of leg speed and pure power pedaling it takes to keep yourself moving will provide what I was missing last year in 'cross. If you've never ridden a single speed, it such a pure way to ride. Remember back when you were a kid and all you had was your little BMX bike with one gear and a coaster brake? How awesome was it tearing around on that bike? And it only had one gear! Well, add the aspect of riding in the woods on cool trails, minus the coaster brake and there you have it, single speed mountain biking, you're 10 years old again. I have to add that I'm fortunate enough to have one of the best areas for mountain biking just a short ride from my house. Patapsco State Park has such a great selection of trails that are well maintained, yet not overlly maintained that you feel like you're riding on a greenway.

So back to my first point, cyclocross is here. Last season was a disaster, between my fitness and my bike, I'm not sure which was worse. Every racewas an adventure, something always happened to my bike, and even if it hadn't, I was just never there. Two weeks and a couple hundred dollars later, a new drivetrain and kick ass new Empella Frog Leg brakes and levers, Frankenbike is ready to rumble. Now it's up to me, so enough rambling, it's time to ride.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Long time no talk

I find it's really hard to find quality things to talk about on a day by day basis, maybe that's why I don't post so often. Sometimes I feel like my life isn't interesting enough to warrant discussing it, or maybe I'm just not that open a person. I read my friend Meg's blog and it's so fun to just listen to what she has to say, sometimes nothing more than a hey what's up here's how I'm doin', or a long rant about one thing or another.

I just got back from a work conference in San Diego. I have to say, pretty nice town, still don't think I could ever like in southern California though. I need trees, big, tall, green trees. While there I decided it was time to start running, atleast get some exercise in. I know I'm not a good runner, I've always hated it but it seems to be a great solution to exercising on the road. A good pair of running shoes is about all you need. Which I did buy, but are in need of some breaking in as the blister on my left heel indicated after just two outings. I keep telling myself it's all about getting ready for cyclocross. Which speaking or, starts the last weekend of the month, I can't believe it's September already.

Last night we went out to a restaurant called The Strip Club. No, it's not that kind of restaurant, the receipt actually says The Strip Club on it. It's a steak joint and their twist was that they let you cook your own steak on an open grill. Not a terribly bad idea, but if I'm going to pay that much for a steak, why do I want to cook it myself? Since I didn't pay for it, I didnt actually care I had to cook it. Going with a group is better, it was kind of like getting fondu, but more work.

Other than that, I noticed that it's really starting to get dark early, that sucks since it's the definitive end of summer indicator. Well, that's about all for now, look for something new in a few weeks.

Oh, one other thing. Gina and went to see The 40 Year Old Virgin with Chip and Terry last weekend, holy sh!t, that had to be the funniest movie since Dodgeball.